Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review and Giveaway

Pattycake at Mrs. Condit Reads Books reviewed an ARC of Captive Magic and seemed to like it a lot:

Captive Magic by Angela Benedetti is a wild ride of a story that starts out with a touch of the paranormal, then takes a left turn into the Twilight Zone! The blurb covers the bare bones of the tale, but to really appreciate the unique and original twists that this story takes, you need to check it out for yourself.
Click through for the rest.

There's also an interview where I ramble on for a while about such things as how I got into writing fantasy romance, which had to do with the early mainstream fantasy and "futuristic" romances falling so far short of the mark, in my opinion as a long-time SF and fantasy fan.

If you leave a comment on the review post, you'll be entered in a drawing for a complete set of the Sentinels books -- three novels and a short story.

Thanks to Pattycake -- I'm so glad she liked the book! -- and to Mrs. Condit for hosting the review and giveaway.

Captive Magic will be release on 4 September.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dear Dudebro

This is why John Scalzi pretty much owns the Internet.

Some months ago, Scalzi said that if his Twitter followers could raise $500 for Clarion within the next half hour, he'd have someone take a picture of him wearing a very nice Regency frock, and post it to his web site. They did, and he did. Much more recently, some misogynistic little boy whose insult quotient is about at the level of "Neener neener!" took the picture and memeized it, in a way he clearly thought would be distressing to Mr. Scalzi. [smirk]

Click through to see the picture, and enjoy seeing Scalzi hand it all back to this guy with a dumptruck. Seriously, this is awesome. :D


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Free Art

The Getty Museum has released 4600 pieces of art to be freely used -- including commercial use -- so long as the museum is credited. Whee, book covers! If you're indie pubbing and doing your own cover art, this can be a great resource.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Captive Magic Cover

I got my cover for the third Sentinel novel, Captive Magic, and permission to show it off. :)

The book is due out on 4 September, and I'm excited to see what people think of it.

Teleporter Breck Bayes made a deal with a demon to save the life of his little sister Amanda, who was dying of cancer. The demon expects Breck to work off the debt -- as a thief who can get past any walls or locks. If Breck balks, Amanda's cancer will come back, and she'll die. Breck's a good guy, but a few trinkets versus Amanda's life? It's no contest.

Manny hears about Breck's popping around town and uses his own talents to find and confront him. Sentinels are supposed to prevent the magegifted from using their talents to steal, by force if necessary, but then he gets the whole story. Manny understands family, and he decides that his Sentinel persona is going to have to suck it up and deal while he helps Breck get out from under the demon -- even if it means becoming an accomplice to the thieving while they plot Breck's escape. But then the demon notices Manny, whose truesight and seeking would be very useful in its quest to own things that don't properly belong to it, and suddenly it's not only Breck who's in trouble.

There's an entry for it on Goodreads, for folks who use that site.

Just under three weeks to go!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Literary Segregation

Hal Duncan wrote an awesome post on segregation in our fictional culture, and everyone who writes or reads (or watches TV or movies, or makes or consumes any other kind of fictional media) should read it. Powerful stuff.

The status quo in the media, in our narratives, is segregation. It’s a state in which members of abject groups--black, queer, whatever--are deemed to not belong as main characters. This is the segregation of not being able to sit at the front of the bus. The abject may be allowed in as an exception if this "serves the plot" if there's a reason for the character’s gayness. This is the segregation of being stopped in a white neighborhood and challenged on your purpose in being there. The abject may be allowed in as Gay Best Friends or Magic Negros in service of the straight, white protagonist. This is the segregation of travelling into a white neighbourhood to work as a cleaner in someone’s house.

Yes, this. This is what's going on whenever someone says they don't want to read a story about a woman, because they're not into all that shoes-dating-mommy stuff, as if any narrative about a woman must be about "woman things." Or when someone else says they don't want to watch a movie about a black character, because "I don't want someone preaching at me about racism." As if any narrative about a black character must feature racism as the driving force of the plot.* Or when someone protests watching a TV show about a gay character, because "homophobia, blah-blah-blah, and besides I don't wanna see two guys doing it." As though every narrative about gay people has to be blatantly sexual, and must focus on homophobia.**

Those stereotyped cliches are the uniforms Duncan talks about, the special roles people who aren't white/straight/able-bodied/male/Christian/and-so-on have to wear to justify their place in a "normal" narrative. A story can have a black protag only if the story is about Black Problems. A story can have a gay protag only if the plot is centered on Gay Issues. A story can have a female protag only if it focuses on Women's Stuff. The idea that a mystery could have a black detective, or that a war story could have be about a female officer, or that a thriller could be about a gay spy -- without the protag's blackness or femaleness or gayness being a key to the situation or conflict -- well, that just doesn't occur to very many people. The default protag is the straight, able-bodied, Christian white man, and it takes deliberate thought for most writers to reach for someone else, unless they're writing that Black Story, or Woman's Story, or Gay Story, or Blind Story, or Autistic Story, or Jewish Story, or whatever other "special" narrative they're crafting, aimed at a "special" (meaning small, niche, specialty) audience.

Only by recognising that system for what it is can we deal with it, as we must and as we can. If we can desegregate the buses, we can desegregate narrative. When it comes to fictional representation of the abject, if we can understand what we are striving for as desegregation, articulate it as such, there is no argument against this. Otherwise? Simply demand better treatment for queer characters, and they'll say we're demanding special treatment; they'll call it political correctness. They'll say we want leather armchairs at the back of the bus. Simply demand more queer protagonists, and they'll say we're demanding quotas. They'll say we want seats set aside for us at the front, even at the expense of some poor old white fart called Art.

Demand desegregation, and all this straw man bullshit is exposed for what it is.

This. It's not about quotas or "special rights" or political correctness. It's about being allowed to sit in front of the bus, about being allowed to be the protagonist, to save the world and solve the mystery and find love and win the competition, and anything else that straight white guys have been doing in fiction for centuries.

Read the whole thing, because Hal Duncan has a powerful voice, and a clear perspective that sees past the crap that's been there so long it's become invisible.


*I won't even get into how someone who reacts that strongly against hearing about racism is probably the exact sort of person who needs to hear about it.

**See previous note about people who recoil from hearing about bigotry being the ones who need to hear about it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Anthology Markets

If you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple antho guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.


31 August 2013 -- COFFEE: Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic -- ed. Alex Shvartsman; UFO Publishing

Each story must somehow involve coffee as a major plot element. It’s not enough if an unrelated story is set in a coffee shop. I will also consider a few tea stories as well. These stories must feature an element of the fantastic (fantasy, SF, light horror). No literary fiction please.

Send your submissions to: ufopublishing at gmail dot com

Please query if you didn’t receive an initial response in 2 weeks.

Original fiction:

Pay: $0.05 per word plus one contributor copy of trade paperback and ebook

Rights: First Rights with a 3-month period of exclusivity after publication. Non-exclusive English worldwide print and electronic publishing rights afterward.

Length: Up to 4000 words. Flash (500-1000 words) especially welcome.

Policies: Simultaneous and multiple submissions are both OK.


Pay: $0.01 per word plus one contributor copy of trade paperback and ebook

Rights: Non-exclusive English worldwide print and electronic publishing rights.

Length: Up to 4000 words. Flash (500-1000 words) especially welcome.

Policies: Simultaneous and multiple submissions are both OK. Please let me know in your cover letter where the story was originally printed and confirm that the rights have reverted to you.


1 September 2013 -- Ether World -- Diabolic Publications LLC

== All stories must be in doc., docx., or .rtf format.
== All stories must be up to 4000 words or less.
== Please use 12 point font, Times New Roman and double space your text.
== We are looking for original science fiction in which some facet of future science or technology is integral to the plot. The science needs to be physical, sociological or psychological. The technology can be any form such as electronic engineering, biogenetic engineering and so forth. All stories must be strong and realistic, with believable characters that may or may not be human.
== You will receive an email if your story has been accepted or rejected as soon as a decision has been made.

Submissions should be sent electronically as an attachment to:

On the subject line of the email, include your name, the title of the work you are submitting, and the anthology you are submitting for , in this case the "Ether World".

In the body of the email, include your contact information (Real Name or official pen name, not your online name), the word count of the work you are submitting, and a brief biography. Make certain to use an email address that you have access to all the time as correspondences from us come through email only!

We only accept electronic submissions at this time.

PAY: Made by Paypal only, if you don't have a paypal account please get one.

We require a written and signed agreement which will be sent with an acceptance email.

Fiction: US$.03/word, payable upon electronic publication. Plus, one copy of the edition in which the work appears when edition is published as a paper copy.

Reprints: US$.01/word, payable upon print publication. Plus, one copy of the edition in which the work appears when edition is published as a paper copy.

RIGHTS: Exclusive First World English Rights for print, and First Electronic Rights for two years from date of publication. Rights are then no longer exclusive and revert back to the author after the two year period.


15 September 2013 -- Upgraded -- ed. Neil Clarke

An original science fiction anthology of cyborg stories edited by a cyborg.

Pay rate: Seven cents per word
Story Length: 1000-8000 words
Simultaneous Submissions: NO
Reprints: NO
Formatting: .doc or .rtf files in Standard Manuscript Format
Paper Submissions: NO
Electronic Submissions:
Rights Purchased: First Print and Electronic Rights. Book will be published in print, ebook and (possibly) audio editions.
Deadline: Tentatively set for 9/15/2013. Will revise after first week of submissions.

Obvious Requirement: Cyborgs or cyborg-related issues must play a role in the story.

Feel free to explore this theme as widely as you like. Have fun with it and keep in mind that not all cyborgs need to be human.

Don’t Send:

== Zombie stories. Seriously. NO.
== Stories previously rejected by Clarkesworld. (I’ve seen it already.)
== Stories involving horrible things happening to children.
== Cyborgs that just escaped from Doctor Who, Star Trek, etc.

Authors already scheduled to appear in this anthology: Elizabeth Bear, Helena Bell, Tobias S. Buckell, Pat Cadigan, Greg Egan, Xia Jia, CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Chen Qiufan, Robert Reed, E. Catherine Tobler, Genevieve Valentine, Peter Watts, E. Lily Yu.


30 September 2013 -- Mars -- Third Flatiron Anthologies

We like things Martian: the Red Planet, H.G. Wells, Bradbury, Robinson, Roman God of War, Marvin....

Third Flatiron Publishing is an e-publishing venture based in Boulder, Colorado. We are looking for submissions to our quarterly themed online anthologies. Our focus is on science fiction and fantasy and anthropological fiction. We’re looking for tightly plotted tales in out-of-the-ordinary scenarios.

Please send us short stories that revolve around age-old questions and have something illuminating to tell us as human beings. Fantastical situations and creatures, exciting dialog, irony, mild horror, and wry humor are all welcome. Stories should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words.

Role models for the type of fiction we want include Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, Dan Simmons, Connie Willis, Vernor Vinge, and Ken Kesey. We want to showcase some of the best new shorts available today.

Click through to the "Submissions" tab for preferred formats, etc.

For each issue, we will also accept a few very short humor pieces on the order of the "Shouts and Murmurs" feature in The New Yorker Magazine (600 words or so). These can be written from a first-person perspective or can be mini-essays that tell people what they ought to do, how to do something better, or explain why something is like it is, humorously. An SF/Fantasy bent is preferred.

Your story must be original work, with the digital rights unencumbered. Beginning with the Summer 2013 issue, accepted stories will be paid at the flat rate of 3 cents per word (U.S.), in return for the digital rights to the story. All other rights will remain with the author. We no longer offer royalties, as we're now into our second year.


30 September 2013 -- Strange Bedfellows -- Bundoran Press

Bundoran Press Publishing House is now accepting stories for Strange Bedfellows – an original short story anthology of political science fiction 'where ideology is a character.' We are looking for well-written science fiction stories with strong plots and compelling, if not necessarily sympathetic, characters engaged in arguments with the world. We want political stories, immersed in science, that take on those arguments without polemic but with passion – recognizing that causes have both effects and consequences. We don’t care what your politics are; we just want you to tell a good story.

Similar to our novel guidelines, we are accepting any genre of science fiction, from space opera to near future to any of the 'punk' genres. Military SF is fine as long as the focus of the story is on internal conflicts not armed ones. No fantasy, even urban, and generally no horror unless it has a solid SF element. In all cases, political systems, political processes, or political solutions must be central to the story.

No reprints, unless specifically solicited by the editor. (Don’t Query.)

We are considering stories in the 2000 to 7500 word range with a definite preference for 4-6000 words. Shorter and longer stores MAY be considered but no more than two stories shorter than 2000 words will make the book and no more than one over 7500 (hard maximum 12K).

Submissions open immediately and will close on September 30, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. Publication will be in April 2014 in trade paperback and digital editions.

Payment is 5.5 cents per word (Canadian funds) on publication, plus one contributor copy, for exclusive (12 month from date of publication) World English print and digital rights and non-exclusive rights thereafter. Exceptions made for Best of Year anthologies.

Submit story and separate cover letter in .rtf format only. Do not query. Response time is estimated at 4 weeks for rejection or request to hold. Final acceptances by November 15, 2013.

Email your attached rtf document to


15 October 2013 -- Kisses by Clockwork -- ed. Liz Grzyb; Ticonderoga Publications

Ticonderoga Publications is opening the reading period for a new themed anthology. This anthology, with the working title Kisses by Clockwork, will combine the fun and irreverence of steampunk fiction with an element of romance. There might be stories of airships, gaslight romance, retro-futurism, post-apocalyptic steam-powered cities, analytical engines or neo-Victorian ladies and gentlemen.

The relationship/s in the stories should have an emphasis on romance rather than erotica, but well-placed steamy scenes necessary for the plot are of course, acceptable.

The anthology will be edited by Liz Grzyb (Scary Kisses, More Scary Kisses, Damnation & Dames, Dreaming of Djinn, The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 and 2011) and will be published by Ticonderoga Publications in 2014.

Submission guidelines:
Send me your best romantic steampunk story.
== Story length 2,000 to 7,500 words. (Longer stories may be accepted, although payment is capped at 7,500).
== Original stories only: no reprints, multiple, or simultaneous submissions.
== Stories may be submitted via email at in .doc or .rtf format.
== Manuscript format: double spaced, large margins, Times New Roman font, Australian English spelling.
== Submissions period open: 1 April-15 October 2013.
== Payment: 2 copies of anthology and Aus 2.5 cents/word (GST inc., maximum payment $187.50) on publication.


1 November 2013 -- Of Devils and Deviants -- ed. Adam Millard and Zoe-Ray Millard

Of Devils & Deviants will be a literary anthology, released as a hardcover book and a digital book, of around 90000 words with the theme of erotic horror. Your submission must contain elements of both to be considered. We want stories that will make us think, we want tales of the flesh, of the lengths people will go to for gratification. Think Cronenberg and Lars Von Trier; Clive Barker and HR Geiger. We want beautiful prose and originality. Most importantly, we want the darkest, creepiest story you’ve ever conceived.

What We Don’t Want:

We don’t want slasher horror; a naked woman getting hacked to death will not be considered for this collection. We will reject any stories that contain rape, bestiality, and the abuse of minors. We will be looking for originality, so stories featuring well-worn tropes (vampires, zombies, werewolves) will almost certainly be rejected. We don’t want gore for the sake of it, and we don’t want something that could be used as a porn-film script.


== Submit your work in Standard Manuscript Format to with Fiction Submission: Your Story Title in the subject line. Attach your story as a DOC, DOCX, or RTF file.

== Include a brief cover letter in the body of your email stating your name, story title with word count, byline, address, and any professional publication credits you think might interest us.

== We will accept works of 2000-7000 words. Please query if you intend to submit outside these guidelines. We may be able to help.

== No simultaneous submissions, please, and no multiple submissions (please wait to hear from us before sending another story for consideration).

Standard Manuscript Format refers to William Shunn’s proper manuscript format, details of which can be found here: The only variation on these guidelines is that italics MUST appear as they will be used; no underlining.


Reprints will be considered if they meet our requirements. Please let us know when submitting if your story has been previously published, including details of where it was published and when the rights reverted back to you.


We pay 1p (2¢) per word for all stories. Accepted authors will receive three hardcover copies of the anthology, and will also be able to purchase further copies at cost (not including shipping). Payment will be made within 30 days of publication.


We are seeking Worldwide English Language rights for 6 months in print and digital formats.

Submission Deadline and Publication Schedule:

We will remain open for submissions until November 1st 2013. Our tentative publication date has been set for February 1st 2014.


UNTIL FILLED -- Membrane -- Dreadful Cafe -- First Listed May 2013

Unreal. Imaginative. Intense.

An escape from the safe.

These stories will propel the reader—by wormhole or peephole—through the fantastic, the criminal, and the insane.

Sometimes strange, always original, the stories we publish are of the highest production standards, from thrilling premise all the way to professional editing.

We are now soliciting query letters for Membrane, our first anthology. All genres are eligible, but preference is given to stories that cross more than one and which reflect the flavor and theme described above.

Manuscripts must be between 2,000 and 30,000 words and not previously published by anyone but the author. Self-published works are accepted and encouraged!

Please refer to our Submission Guidelines.

Upon acceptance of your completed manuscript, Dreadful Cafe pays for non-exclusive, unlimited, 5-year publishing rights on the following schedule:

Short Stories (2,000-7,000 words) — $125
Novelettes (7,001-15,000 words) — $250
Novellas (15,001-30,000 words) — $500/Negotiable

It's your work.

We are simply paying for the rights to publish, market, and sell your completed manuscript as part of this or any other Dreadful Cafe anthology. You are encouraged to continue marketing on your own.

However, you will be unable to enter into any exclusive arrangement with other parties once you have sold rights to us. Also, note that we may give your story away for free as part of our marketing efforts, and that we may use edited excerpts from your story for the same.

This applies to both electronic and print versions, both in the US and abroad.

We may, at our discretion, hire an editor (at our expense) to work with you on your manuscript. Payment follows final completion and acceptance of the edited manuscript.

Dreadful Cafe reserves the right to reject your manuscript at any time and for any reason, including elimination from future editions of the published anthology.

No royalties or warranties are given or implied.

Estimated Publication: Pre-holiday 2013

Query Submissions Open: April 1, 2013

Query Submissions Closed: TBD

The Dreadful Cafe is committed to socially responsible publishing. All after-cost proceeds from this anthology will go to support St. Jude's Children's Hospital, because life is too short not to have fun and too precious not to do good.

We encourage you to support the many local charities in your community.


UNTIL FILLED (November-ish 2013) -- ChiralMad 2 -- ed. Michael Bailey; Written Backwards -- First Listed August 2013

Written Backwards is accepting submissions for Chiral Mad 2, an anthology of psychological horror. While the first two anthologies by Written Backwards were open to submissions following initial invites, Chiral Mad 2 is by viral invitation only.

What does that mean? Well, if you can read this, you are invited. It’s that simple.

What’s acceptable? Fiction that disturbs the nonlinear fabric(s) of reality. Mindbenders in the range of 1,000 to 5,000 words that could not only be classified as horror, but as psychological horror with chirality as its backbone (please query for anything longer than 5K, but if your story pushes over 5K a bit, no worries). This anthology suits stories that push the limits of the human condition. The keyword being ‘human.’ Strong character development is a must, and all stories must have some element of chirality, whether it is in character reflection, physical and/or mental symmetry, structure, or any other way you can manage.

What’s the payment? For the first time ever, Written Backwards is paying pro rates. $0.05 US per word, up to 5,000 words, or $250 US max. If your story is a reprint and you were not personally invited to submit a reprint, please query first, but note that payment will be at $0.025 US per word.

Here’s what is needed. Send your work via e-mail as an attached .docx, .doc or .rtf. How you format the story is not an issue. You are a professional. What’s really important is story. Send one to with a brief introductory message if you feel one is necessary. If you have references, or referrals, use them. Nothing too wordy. Use “Chiral Mad – Submission Title” as your subject line and don’t forget the attachment. We’ve all done it…

And in case you thought all of that was too much to read and scrolled to the end to get to the good stuff (or maybe you simply need a recap), here you go:


Deadline: November-ish, 2013, or until filled.

Release: Scheduled for a winter 2013 publication (or early spring 2014, depending on how this thing takes off). If there’s any indication from the first Chiral Mad, the book will fill up fast and publication will begin sooner than originally anticipated.

Format: Trade paperback.

Word count: 1,000 – 5,000 words (longer work may be considered, but please query first).

Payment: $0.05 US per word, up to 5,000 words (upon acceptance) and one contributor copy (upon publication). All profit from this anthology will be donated to support Downs syndrome by Written Backwards. Copies will be available for cost as long as you donate profit received to a charity organization of your choice.

Reprints: $0.025 US per word, by invitation only, or if queried first and accepted.

Rights: one-time anthology rights for publication in the English language within the United States of America, with no publication elsewhere for 12 months, upon which time rights revert back to the author.

More information on chirality can be found here: Wikipedia article Chiral, or feel free to pick up a copy of Chiral Mad.

[NOTE: Click through for more info on the editor, the previous anthology, awards won, and charitable contributions being made.]